Edinburgh Fringe 2022: Larry Dean, award-winning Scottish stand-up reveals dread of ‘Edinburgh audience silence’
You might have caught him on BBC2’s Mock The Week or Michael McIntyre’s Big Show on BBC One but despite being one of the UK's ever-rising comedy stars, Larry Dean admits there's nothing quite like a run of the Fringe to keep you grounded.
Ahead of his 2022 Fringe season of Fudnut, the 2013 Scottish Comedian Of The Year, admits, “I had a major cringe remembering this the other day; the last time I did the Fringe, this guy came up to me after a show and asked, 'Can you sign your autograph?' - which is always a bit weird, like who does that anymore?
“But anyway, he then asked, ‘Can you write “Did you, aye” on it as well. So I wrote, ‘Did you, aye’ and my name.
“He went, ‘Amazing! That's my favourite routine of yours, I'm going to get that tattooed on me... it'll be really cool having that, written by you who made up that routine, tattooed on me’.
“When he went away, I thought, ‘I've never done a “Did you, aye” routine. He'd got me mixed up with Kevin Bridges. I love the fact this guy thinks he's got a tattoo of Kevin Bridges’ handwriting but he's not, it's mine and I've got nothing to do with that routine.”
The irony is not lost on him, Dean is a lanky six footer, 6ft 1in to be exact, or as he describes himself, as looking like "a twig-built junkie who looks like he'd steal stuff from you but never put up a fight for it.”
It's not a description that could ever be applied to Bridges.
He laughs, as he adds, “What's worse is, I'd understand English people maybe getting us mixed up but the guy was Glaswegian, like, where have you been mate?”
Dean, who returns to the Fringe from August 5-28 at the Monkey Barrel Comedy, Blair Street, nightly at 8.30pm, will once again entertain his audiences with an hour of what has been described as ‘authentic storytelling at its funniest’.
In Fudnut, he will touch on recent events in his life, from accidentally importing illegal substances into a middle eastern country, to the prominent events that followed a little closer to home, and what his therapist has to say about it all.
The one thing he is dreading, however, is the possibility of facing the Edinburgh Fringe audience ‘silent treatment'.
The 32-year-old, who has been called, ‘A stomach crampingly funny man’ and ‘a prime example of a comedian at the top of his game’, explains, "Fringe audiences have seen so many shows that their expectations are higher and, unlike touring when you often get a heckler to play off, in Edinburgh, especially during the week, that silence they can do is quieter than space - it can literally split the atoms of my body. I'm always terrified of getting the old Edinburgh silent treatment.”
He adds, "I'll probably rejig the show a bit for August because the Fringe is a different beast. It's that thing of, because everyone is seeing about five shows a day, some days they are just very tired and not big laughers, so you need to have more narrative as well as the jokes to cover both bases.”
He continues, “I remember a gig in 2018, there was a reviewer in and I got the silent treatment. I was convinced it was one of the worst gigs I'd ever done and it left me in such an awful mood for the rest of the night. The next day, however, the review was lovely and people I knew were messaging to say how much they enjoyed the show. I realised that if you've been seeing a lot of shows, sometimes you just want to sit and enjoy the gig and not have to laugh out loud... but that can really get into my head."
Fudnut is Dean's fifth solo stand-up hour, his previous Fringe shows being Out Now! in 2015, Farcissist in 2017 and Bampot in 2018, and it comes as a surprise to discover that despite his boisterous stage presence, and the fact that it is his tenth Fringe, off-stage, Dean is less confident than he appears when in the spotlight.
He laughs, “I am actually less confident than I look. When I act like a buffoon on stage, that's just all my insecurities coming out at once.”
Tickets for Larry Dean: Fudnut can be found here.